This week’s reader is worried about coming out to his parents (Picture: Getty / Metro.co.uk)
There’s no set timeline for discovering your sexuality and this week, we hear from a reader who’s questioning his at the age of 32.
The good news is, he’s having the best sex of his life, but he’s also nervous about how his conservative parents might react if they learn he’s embarked on a relationship with a man.
Below, he gets some advice. But before you go read last week’s dilemma, where a reader was sex-shamed after hooking up with a married man.
I’m 32, an only child, good looking, athletic and successful. So far so good, you might think. Yet despite this, I’ve never had a long-term girlfriend, much to the disappointment of my parents, who long for a grandchild.
I’ve always seen myself as straight but not very good with girls, having gone to an all-boys school. Recently, however, I’ve questioned my sexuality more and more, culminating in an amazing sex session with a friend I’ve known for years. We both got horribly drunk in the lead up to Christmas and ended up crashing out on his bed.
I woke up to the feeling of him touching me intimately, and soon we were having the most incredible sex. I’ve slept with various girls over the years but never found it truly mind-blowing, unlike the experience with my friend.
Since then, we’ve got together a few more times and both feel that we want to be with one another. His parents are much younger than mine, and he says they’d be cool with him being gay. I know mine wouldn’t; I was a ‘miracle baby’ who came along when my mum was already in her forties, so they are now over seventy and have old-fashioned views about the roles of men and women.
I don’t want to disappoint them, but I do want to be myself.
It’s still quite common for people of a certain age to question gay relationships, but I wonder whether you’re doing your parents a disservice by assuming they wouldn’t accept the real you.
Parents usually love their children unconditionally, so although it may take them a while to adjust to your news, they would surely want you to be happy. Embracing your true self means either telling them, so that they can continue to be part of your life, or avoiding them, which would leave them sad and bewildered.
I wonder whether this is something you’ve always known deep down, but not wanted to admit to. Being gay is not a choice, and perhaps you’ve been asking the impossible of yourself for many years, just to conform to what you feel is the ‘right’ thing to do in the eyes of your parents.
You’re clearly very special to them, and though coming out can be difficult, the internet is full of advice on how to do it (as well as ways to cope if things don’t go to plan). Now that you’ve embraced the truth, don’t damage your health and stress levels by living a lie.
As for your mum and dad longing for grandchildren, of course they can still have them. There are several ways you can become a parent, like surrogacy or adoption, which is something you can explore.
Your parents are nearer the end of their lives than the beginning, so don’t waste precious time by avoiding them or telling them lies. All superficial pretence must stop; you only have one life, live it authentically.
Laura is a counsellor and columnist.
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At 32, he’s questioning his sexuality.